There was some agitation for slavery in California before California became a state, but in the end California came in as a free state. This helped upset the balance of power in the US Senate. In 1851 James Gladsden of South Carolina tried to get the California legislature to allow slavery in the southern part of California in hopes the state could be divided in to two states, one free and one slave. this would have helped to retain a balance of free and slave states in the US Senate. The suggestion was not seriously considered in California. If California had became two states with slavery in South California would have this helped the US avoid a war? One could assume that the area between Texas and South California would have been open to slavery. There was also some hope that slavery would become legal in Oregon and perhaps the state of Washington. If slavery was legal in South California, Oregon and Washington, it would seem like the slave owners would have had room to extend slavery and this could have cooled some to the tension between to North and South.